New Horizons spacecraft to send pix of Pluto

Pluto is at opposition this month, meaning that it’s now at its brightest.

That’s not good enough. It’s too dim to appear in even the finest binoculars. Even a large amateur telescope merely shows it as a faint speck, and you’d need a super-accurate star chart to distinguish it from the zillions of other faint dots in Sagittarius, in the direction of the galaxy’s center. Pluto shines feebly at 14th magnitude. It’s 600 times fainter than the dimmest naked-eye stars.

It’s dim because it’s not just far away; it’s . . .


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